Sit back and relax, kids. Starting a new tradition here, I'm hereby opening the character review with a classic "Mort of the Week". Namely, a character so lame, not only should every panel have been burned, but a few good whacks should have been taken to the creator's head. With a wrench.
And as a beginner, I've chosen a doozy.
You better get comfy, folks. This one's going to hurt
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first story from "Double-Dare Adventures", published by Harvey Comics in 1966.
That's right, Mr. Peabody and Sherman have leaped into the wayback machine to bring us this piece of four-color foppery.
Our first tale begins by spilling the beans on the origin of "Bee-Man".
Stop laughing already, I'm serious. "Bee-Man."
It seems our main character, the distinguished Barry E. Eames (look, kids, it's fun with initials! Go ahead, try it with your own name!) is working as a disgruntled scientist for the United States space program. He's probably disgrunted because he's stuck indoors all the time while his friends go to the sock hop and the malt shop and have a swinging good time.
But he'd show them. He'd show them all
Anyway, to increase the funding out of Barry's pocket (apparently, the U.S. Space Program only pays peanuts, and you'd have better pay working down at the local gas station, is all I'm saying) he decides to redirect a mars probe so it'll land a bit off it's intended destination.
God only knows what he expected to find on the thing. Lord knows eBay hadn't been invented yet.
Well, it worked. He drove his way out to the lander, opened it up, and what he found inside...well, can only be shown:
"SAVE ME FROM THE BEES!"
I swear, I saw this, I didn't know if I wanted to laugh or cry.
Anyway, Barry is poked full of more holes than the plot of 'Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.' After getting out of the local camp infirmary, he finds out he's walking around filled with Grade A Alien Bee Venom running through those veins.
Now, take a guess what his plan of action was:
A) Immediately file for disability, and live out the rest of his life in Florida, with a calm peaceful existence beside the occasional urge to cover himself in pollen and excrete honey.
B) Spend years studying his condition, in the hopes that one day what has blessed him will possibly provide a cure for such terrible diseases as Polio, the Flu, and one day, the invention of Disco?
C) Create a costume based on the creature that granted him his powers, and enter professional wrestling to help out his aging uncle and aunt, until one day he lets a robber go by out of his own self-interest, and later discovers that his Uncle Ben was murdered in cold blood, the true irony being that the guy that killed Benny-boy was the same burglar
D) Create a costume based on the creature that granted him his powers, apparently pulling all the pieces of it from costume shop trash bins, until he winds up with a costume that hurts creatures that can't even see color, and starts a regin of terror that would quake fear in all but the most hardy of kindergarden classes?
If you picked 'D', you've either read ahead or you're a clever little cookie, yes you are. Here, have a Twizzler.
Well, it turns out that apparently the bees that stung Bee-Man were the scouting party for an interplanetary invasion force
I said this was going to hurt, don't come crying to me now.
So anyway, it seems Barry (who by now is starting to wish he paid more attention to his mother when she suggested he go into Fashion Design, I'm betting) is the unwitting servant of the interplanetary bees, and goes on a rampage across the nation, defacing monuments, causing hijinks, dropping candy wrappers, you know the drill.
(Somewhere, on a rooftop in Gotham City, the Batman broods darkly, staring down at the people down below who continue their daily routine like sheep. He grits his teeth, wondering what dangers lay ahead, and fearing that one of the worst villians ever might come by. "I must always be on my guard," he says, cape waving behind him. "For any day now, my life could well be in peril by that dastardly fiend Bee-Man."
This is all just more proof that when it comes to being military strategists, bees make great rodeo clowns.
So, anyway, as Bee-Man continues his dastardly life of crime, forever agonizing
over the lack of his face on the Most Wanted lists, he realizes something. In order to maintain his 'Bee-strength' (I hold back nothing from you, NOTHING!) he needs to consume an ungodly amount of honey. So, he skips along to the nearest bee farm, see, and...
...oh for crying out loud, if I stop, will you quit throwing stuff? Fine, it only goes downhill from here, but remember. This was just the beginning.
From now on, I expect you to sit still and hold back those tears.
Cause...Bee-Man is watching.